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North Carolina 79, Us 41, Romney 33, Washington 24, Florida 18, Mecklenburg 12, Virginia 12, Billy Graham 10, Obama 10, U.s. 8, California 8, Rob Christensen 7, Ohio 7, Joe Biden 6, Molly Ball 6, Carolina 6, Charlotte 6, America 6, Sandy 5, Brooklyn 5,
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  CSPAN    Washington Journal    News/Business. Live morning call-in program with  
   government officials, political leaders, and journalists.  

    October 27, 2012
    7:00 - 10:00am EDT  

failed city. >> more from heidi ewing on c- span's q and a. >> this morning. let the political reporter molly bal talks about how voter contacts impact campaign 2012. and robert christensen and aisha dew. "washington journal"is next. host: in the headlines this morning -- from the weekend edition of the "wall street journal," economy grows at 2% pace. consumers, government spending, powered third-quarter gains,
but growth likely to slow down. and that's what we want to talk to you about for the first 45 minutes of this edition of the "washington journal." good morning. today is saturday, october 27. we want to talk to you about your optimism or pessimism about the economy. things getting better? things getting worse? are you doing all right? could you be doing better? we want to talk to you about the economy, your optimism, and your pessimism in terms of your personal economy and not necessarily how you feel the candidates will do, what they might do for the economy once they get elected. 202-585-3881 for republicans. for democrats, 202-585-3880. for independents, 202-585-3882. and you can also reach out to us via social media. the address on twitter,
@spanwj. and email, more from the article this morning from the "wall street journal," economy grows at 2% pace. josh mitchell and refugee write -- -- and jeffrey write --
host: we'll take a look at more newspaper articles dealing with the 2% growth in the third quarter. but first, we want to check in on the phones. cameron is our first caller, calling from west virginia. he's optimistic about the economy. why is that, cameron? caller: well, i'm optimistic because i'm a republican, and the more the polls, the more that i really realize that people are waking up to the fact that we really need a change, and i really feel that i've been in the coal mines for 32 years. the trickle-down government and regulations, we've had several thousand coal miners laid off in west virginia. i've heard three days ago that 200 railroad workers got laid off in the pocahontas division. it's just an expansion of the regulations and the things --
you know, the president, we can see our electric bills are almost doubled over co-regulations. this country was account on coal, and it's going to continue to grow on coal. i think that barack obama is the best thing that happened to the republican party since jimmy carter. i just really feel, at the end of the day, people are going to wake up when they go to the polls, they're going to make the right decision. it will be mitt romney. thank you. host: moving on to elkhart, indiana. dale is on our line for independents. dale is optimistic about the economy. go ahead, dale. caller: hi. how are you? host: i'm doing fine. you say that you're optimistic about the economy. why is that? caller: well, our economy is so big, it's just going to keep going no matter what, even though we came close to falling off of a cliff, we still rebounded no matter the negative or positive attitudes that were out there. we continue to still grow. we need to have more percentage
growth. but i just feel it's just going to keep going no matter what our politicians or our big business or anybody does. host: hey, dale, what kind of business are you in? what do you do for a living? caller: i'm a quality technician for aerospace components. host: and based on the things that you've seen and what's happening in your aerospace industry, does that also help fuel your optimism for the economy? caller: yeah, we added quite a few, probably 30%, 40% of people in the last two years. we keep having more and more growth. host: we're going to move on to rosedale, maryland. leroy is next. leroy is also optimistic about the economy. go ahead. caller: things are getting better slowly but surely, and no way would i ever want to reverse and if back. these are my reasons.
because on day one, mitch mcconnell said he wanted to make president obama a one-term president. then the republicans signed a pledge with grover nor quist saying no new taxes, no matter what. but most importantly, when people say president obama had the first two years and everything, the most important thing he had was the filibuster used against him more times on this president than any other president in history. but i still believe, after all those obstacles, we still are moving forward, and there's no way we want to start all over and go back. host: leroy, thanks for the call. the lead story in this morning's "new york times," consumers push economic output to a gain of 2%, better than expected. housing recovery and defense orders also fueled the third quarter.
host: back to the phones. rebecca is calling us from cincinnati this morning. she's on our line for republicans. she's optimistic. go ahead, rebecca. caller: yes. the season will grow due to the fact that i heard over a month ago that wal-mart for christmas
would be training in october 50,000 people, 40,000 for kohl's, and all the other stores take into consideration. this is just a temporary 2%. my problem is this. this president had nothing -- i don't care about race, color, or creed, believe me, and he has -- he's a charmer. that's how he got in the first time. he's trying it the second time. he had three years. why didn't he do things? he didn't. he was living things up and entertaining and everything. and he went to a food bank to buy a $520 pair of sneakers. come on now. all i want is people, when they go to vote who have jobs, please, before you look, stop and think of the people who do not pay jobs, who are hurting.
they're losing their homes. they have children. it's sad. host: we're going to move on to alicia in atlanta, georgia, on our line for independents, also optimistic about the economy. why is that, alicia? caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i'm optimistic about the economy, because when i look at my own company, i'm in the auto industry. not only are we having a record year, we are seeing levels at 2007 levels, record sales, also when i think about the conservative nature of my company, not only are we optimistic about the economy, i mean, we're redecorating. so when i sort of look around and see the incredible lot of hiring that we're doing at the company, what i look at, the fact that we brought back bonuses, we have brought back
raises, i think this is going to be an incredible year. that's one of the reasons why i voted for president obama back in 2008, because i believe that he could do this, and i think he has, even from the housing market standpoint where i live in atlanta. i mean, you try to find a luxury condo for sale, there's nothing for sale. there's no inventory here in this section in atlanta. i own a rental property as well. i took advantage of the slump, and i bought additional properties six months ago. now in the area that i bought, when i look at the inventory that's available, i can't even get the deals that i was able to get six months ago. the inventory is not even there. certainly looking for it, i was trying to maybe take advantage of some of this shadow inventory that economists had been talking about, well, where is it it's not coming. i'd like to buy some of it. the housing market is also doing really well, so i just don't believe republicans, with
their messages of doom and gloom, and i've already voted for barack obama. host: alicia, the previous caller talked about her optimism being short-term, in that it was seasonal because of all the hiring that's going on in anticipation of christmas and the other holidays. do you feel that this economic rebound is short-term, or are you looking at this as being a long-term thing? caller: i think this is a long-term thing, especially looking at the industry that i'm in. my undergraduate degree is in engineering. i have a master's in business administration and an m.b.a. i work for a very large automaker. we are hiring, not because of christmas. we are hiring because there are demands for vehicles. i'm a project manager in new vehicle development. we're localizing even more vehicles. so this is a long-term investment and foresight that
our executive management has. this is not some seasonal reaction. host: alicia in atlanta, georgia. we've got this on facebook, paul martin writes -- host: that's paul martin on our facebook page. back to the phones. reggie in sayerville, new jersey. he's a democrat, and he's optimistic. why is that, reggie? caller: i'm optimistic. i believe that despite all the ok kells that will the
republican party has placed before barack obama, he is going to revive this economy. i also believe that you need to take a look at the worldwide economy, and you can understand how much better america is doing. that's the product of strategy and intelligent implication that the barack obama administration has. when i listen to these republicans, they're despicable. they practice all types of obstacles in front of this man. they lie. romney is a serial liar. host: let's go back to the economy. talk to me about the comparisons in your mind about the u.s. economy and overseas economy and why your optimism is, in fact, or, as you say, based on how our economy is doing versus economies from overseas. >> well, relatively speaking,
when you take a look at some of the european economies, particularly some of the cutbacks in government and all it did was fire the economy up into a worse situation, when you take a look at france, they elected a new president there, and he's trying to implement the same type of progressive policies that the obama administration has done. it's clear that stimulus has worked despite the distortions about it. it appears this appears to be working in some other parts of europe. therefore, i think when you take a relative view of it, and you understand that we're recovering from the deepest recession since the depression, i mean, to think that one man, with the optimism that the republican party has placed is going to revive this economy, it's absurd. host: that's reggie. our next call is joan from palm
coast, florida. she's a republican. she says she is neither optimistic nor pessimistic. why is that, joan? caller: well, it all depends on who is elected for the next presidency term. i believe that mitt romney and paul ryan as vice president would bring about a reversal of some of the last government policies that will cripple this country. we haven't seen what's going to happen as a result of the obama healthcare policy, and dodd-frank, the dodd-frank bill, businesses like to look into the long term. they're not looking short term at all. they have to project out their business plans for the long term. host: what kind of a business are you in? caller: i'm not, but i'm a free market -- i'm a free market supporter.
and under president obama and joe biden, they're more for big business. host: are you working down there? caller: no. no, i'm not retired. host: what kind of work do you do, joan? caller: well, i've done clerical work. i've done hospital work as a therapist. i worked as a nurse's aide for quite a few years. i've worked in all kinds of businesses. host: and what's the healthcare business like there in palm coast? caller: well, they are enlarging some of the services that will be available. healthcare is a booming industry. it has been, especially because of medicare and medicaid. but the whole thing is long-term projections. now, the president -- the government does not create
business. it's small business people, but it's not -- the government can set up an environment that is helpful towards business, but under large taxation and policies that will crush business, i see that as a route that obama is taking. right now the free market is struggling. host: in the "financial times" this morning, u.s. lanes to stay on growth course -- u.s. lanes to stay on growth course. like a yacht in the wind, no sooner does the u.s. economy catch a breeze from one direction than a gust comes in from another and it struggle toss move forward. growth was in the third quarter of 2012 as gross domestic product rose at an annualized rate of 2%. housing gave the economy a boost. businesses, investment set it back. the growth data point to an economy with little momentum
leaves considerable doubt about its resilience to the so-called fiscal cliff of tax rises and spending cuts due at the end of the year. host: back to the phones. mark in bethesda, maryland, on our line for independents. mark is optimistic. go ahead, mark. caller: hey, how you doing? yeah, i definitely do feel optimistic about the economy. i feel like things are kind of getting back to normal. the housing market is starting to recover. there are definitely signs that are visible with that. the interest rates are still too low, i think, but i think they will start to head up. bernanke has said in a few years, so we sort of have easy money now, and people are
starting to feel confident again. host: mark, with the interest rates this low, do you think that that will help to continue to propel the housing boom, or will we get ourselves into another ballooning situation where people are getting -- people are getting credit too easily and then later on down the line aren't able to afford the houses that they've moved into? caller: well, i hope not. i feel like the lenders have to be responsible. lenders have to make sure they're lending money to people who can afford to pay back those loans. i really hope -- i don't really understand a lot of the regulations that they've sort of passed. everybody always talks about dodd-frank, dodd-frank, but i've never heard any person actually mention a specific rule that is creating a problem.
i would hope that the lenders have gotten to a point where they realize, hey, we can't just be throwing money at people that can't afford it. now, i have no confidence that's actually going to be the case, but my optimism is based on watching a lot of business, news, and you see a lot of company c.e.o.'s coming on cnbc and bloomberg, talking about how strong their balance sheets are, thousand really seems like the companies have a lot of money, and they're poised to really start doing some hiring if the demand would just kick in. i feel like what's going to happen is essentially we're going to reach a point where the consumer demand is going to start picking up for products, and people are going to start spending money on new jobs so that they can grow. host: go on to anderson in brooklyn, new york, on our line for democrats, also optimistic
about the economy. go ahead. caller: yes, good morning. thanks for taking my call. i am extremely optimistic given that i'm seeing the figures released yesterday on the economy. i am extremely optimistic, and given that i would like for president obama to continue to hit on his policy, the policy stratosphere that he sit, him and joe biden, i believe that the country is on the right track. i am not pessimistic if mitt romney and paul ryan should win the election, because i see a lot of their policies is dating back to the george bush era, and i am not -- i was extremely pessimistic when george bush got re-elected. as a matter of fact, one of the headlines in the british press said how can america be so stupid? now, if mitt romney and paul ryan win the election, i think the headlines will be the same. host: anderson, let's get back
to the economy. talk to me about signs that you see -- signs that make you optimistic in brooklyn. talk to me about the housing -- caller: well, as a matter of fact, i'm glad you mentioned brooklyn, because yesterday i was down at flatbush, atlantic avenue, and that, what do you call it, the barclays center, where the home of the brooklyn nets will be, there is a lot of economic activity. and this economic activity started with metrotech, which was on flatbush avenue, and it went on to and is spread ago cross downtown brooklyn. it's becoming to look like upper manhattan, midtown. and, you know, you see people's enthusiasm bringing these businesses in the area, and i work in manhattan, and you see, you know, you've seen a lot of hiring by big companies. you know, manhattan is a breadbasket of the united states as far as i'm concerned. host: we're going to leave it there, anderson, and move on to
ron in pontiac, illinois, on our line for republicans. ron, you're one of the few guys who called in so far that's pessimistic about the economy. why is that? caller: well, the business channel, and what they're talking about going forward, primarily because of obamacare and dodd-frank, and the business uncertainty that's being created right now, is they're talking about a loss of six million jobs going into next year, and an unemployment rate of over 12%. now that's just the straight unemployment rate. that's not the unemployment rate that includes the part-timers and the people that are discouraged workers. that's just the real ones. so, what we're probably going to see, in my opinion, is romney is going to win the election with at least 53%. the stock market is going take off. and then when they realize the fiscal cliff is not going to be
solved, then it's going to tank. it's going to have like a minus 700-point day, because at this point the stock market hasn't figured in that we're not going to resolve the fiscal cliff. it hasn't been something that has been talked about this election season in the debate. host: ron, talk to me about things that are going on in pontiac, illinois, that make you pessimistic about the economy. caller: well, we have a factory that i used to work at here in town, used to run three shifts. it went bankrupt. it was bought up by a spanish company. host: what do they manufacture there? caller: they make frames for shelving , for places like home depot and lowe's. in fact, they have the biggest paint tank that you drop these frames into. host: how about you? where do you work and how's your business doing? caller: oh, i'm a discouraged worker.
i have small investments. i'm eating up my nest egg right now. but things -- on the unemployment picture, we had a whole bunch of companies that announced that they're laying off this last week, including depoint. now, the one one profitable section in dupont is their farm division, and we have a plant around locally that does quite well because the price of crops keep going up. host: ron in pontiac, illinois. this is an abc 2012 tracking poll. it was done between october 18 and october 21. the question there, do you think the nation's economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying the same? this was among likely voters published last week on october 22. the result by likely voters, 37% say that the economy is
getting better. 36% say it's getting worse. 25% say it's staying the same. 2% had no opinion. again, this, a "washington post"/abc news poll published on october 22 among likely voters, the economy is getting better, worse, or the same. back to the phones. b.j. in gilbert, arizona, is on our line for independents. he says that the economy, he's optimistic about the economy. why is that? caller: i'm in high-tech. i'm a senior vice president of a very high-tech clean room manufacturing -- well, everything, rd&e, advanced manufacturing of all of our products are done in clean rooms. host: first, explain to me what a clean room is. caller: a clean room is where you do not want any kind of
particular contamination on anything. host: and what kind of things are produced in clean rooms? caller: semiconductors, solar cells, pharmaceuticals, precision optics. host: ok, so things going well in that segment? caller: i beg your pardon? host: so things are going well there or not? caller: oh, my god. you cannot imagine. you know what blows me away is that obama should be saying and touting what he's done for our country. because people don't understand that in the very first -- wow -- first few months, literally, even while he was trying to repair the bush-cheney era screwups, the bottom line is he and his whole administration went throughout this country, from president obama to dr.
chew, the head of d.o.e., to the heads of commerce, you name it, they all spread out across the country, talking to manufacturers in the united states in a wide variety of industries, literally, virtually every industrial sector. but the bottom line is he went, and they said, look, what can we, the government, do to assist you in being the best you can be? what can we do to make you hire more people, not just for today and tomorrow, but the next three, five, 10, 20 years? host: b.j. in gilbert, arizona, thanks for the call. we're going to take a look at some more items on facebook, greg writes --
host: also in social media, we've got joseph ramirez, who sends in this tweet --
host: we continue looking at your optimism or pessimism about the economy. our next call comes from christopher in columbus, ohio, on our line for democrats, who's onoptimist. christopher in columbus, go ahead. caller: yes, i'm optimistic. i lost a job, and it took me almost 2 1/2 years to get it, because of some of the policies of obama has grown. things are looking up because of the timing, where i live in ohio in columbus, it's construction. you know, there's buildings going up and people looking hard everywhere. i think there's a lot to do, but the president has done a
good job. i was watching yesterday, and the republican on the phone said a lot of his colleagues are really racist. that's one thing. it still has a lot to do with the color of the president. host: let's move on to joe in corbin, kentucky, on our line for republicans. he is optimistic. go ahead. caller: well, i'm kind of optimistic and kind of pessimistic this morning. host: uh-huh. caller: i hear everybody talking about president obama doing this and that. and actually, actually, it's the people that loaned the money to general motors. he got it from the stimulus. the stimulus -- the money came from the people. actually, we the people helped them, and a lot of other people out. host: that's joe in corbin,
kentucky. we want to let our viewers and listeners know that we've got some coverage going on today on c-span live and c-span radio. it's 11:30 a.m. this morning, 8:30 a.m. pacific time, vice-presidential candidate paul ryan will be at a campaign rally in zanesville, ohio. we'll have live coverage there. he begins his 400-mile bus tour across ohio, and we'll bring you the vice-presidential candidate's remarks live at 11:30 a.m. eastern time from zanesville high school. also today, later on in the day, we're going to be covering vice president joe biden and jill biden. they'll be in lynchburg, virginia. vice president biden will be campaigning with his wife and son, delaware attorney general bo biden. they'll attend a grass-roots event in lynchburg, virginia, and we'll bring you those
remarks at 4:30 p.m. eastern live on c-span today. if you want more information about our coverage, go to to our website, jim is in orlando, florida. he's on our line for independents. jim, you're optimistic about the economy. why is that? caller: i'm optimistic after the election. i think that a lot of companies have been holding out hiring this year. i think it all comes back to the money. and when i say the money, a lot of the billionaires, when they see that their taxes are going from 14% to 36%, they're going to do whatever they can to make sure that the president looks bad as far as this year. when you look historically, the first quarter of the year is usually slow. we had a good first quarter. in the second two quarters, jobs have been anemic. i think the last two or three years, we slowly climbed out of this mess, and it will take, as clinton said, another four years to get out of it. but i do see some positives.
host: jim, do you really think that business owners are going to risk profits and losses based on trying to make the president look bad? caller: i don't think business owners are. i think that big corporations that have billionaire stockholders -- if my taxes were going to go from $140 million on a billion dollars a year to $360 million, yes, i do. host: all right. that's jim in orlando, florida, where they are watching out for hurricane sandy. they're looking at that all up and down the eastern seaboard. and in the "new york times" this morning, we've got a picture of vice president joe bide known oshkosh, wisconsin, on our friday -- on vice president joe biden in oshkosh, wisconsin, on friday. he was scheduled for an event in virginia, but it was cancelled. fears of storm disrupting final days of campaign is the headline. sandy is expected to be a strong tropical storm that
could cause severe coastal flooding, intense wind damage, and knocking out power to millions of people for days. the candidates may find it harder to push last-minute messages if they are competing with the images of a large, threatening storm. that could have a particularly outside impact in virginia, a key battleground state, if the storm hits that far south. host: read more about that in this morning's "new york times" and other papers from sea to shining sea. gail is calling from canton, ohio, on our line for democrats. she's optimistic about the economy. go ahead, gail. caller: very much optimistic about the economy. forgive my voice. i've been ill.
but my point is this -- president barack obama has done a wonderful job at bringing this country back from falling literally off the cliff. and he has done it in professionalism. he has done it as the red of these united states of america. he did everything that he said he could do with his own mean, because congress has fought president barack obama from the very beginning that he has taken office. and not only that, i cannot believe that the people of the united states can actually hear governor mitt, you know, say the things romney, that he has said personally out of his own mouth about how he did not care about 47% of the people of the united states.
host: we're going to leave it there, gail in ohio. in "the washington post" this morning, clinton says, post-election stay would not be open-ended. this is the secretary of state saying that sheg sit down with the president shortly.
host: bonnie in maryland is pessimistic. she's calling on our line for republicans. bonnie, you're on the "washington journal." go ahead. caller: yes, and good morning. nice to hear you, where we get the truth. first of all, most of his money went to the solar panels and these batteries. they all went belly up. second of all -- host: all of them? caller: all of them. another one just went up yesterday, and they are checking it to see if they can bring charges against him because the panels would catch on fire if they were in the sunlight. and then, to me, he keeps saying that romney is going to outsource everything. well, he's insourcing it because there's a bridge being built in california now by the chinese people. and my state, my governor, brought in teachers from india,
relocated them, paid them to relocate, plus the dream act, paying them to relocate. where our teachers are laid off. so i'm saying he keeps blaming bush, blaming bush. well, you can only blame bush so long, and the democrat from florida talking about, oh, the billionaires are against him. who do you think is putting up the money for him to go from state to state at our expense? host: that's bonnie in maryland. we've got an item from "the washington post" this morning. this is by paul cane, the headline, harry reid hurt in a car crash. he's got an update. he says that reid suffered from rib and hip contusions and was cleared for release by doctors, according to the statement from his office. some members of his security detail, along with a staffer, also experienced minor injuries. this is talking about a crash outside of downtown las vegas.
host: back to the phones. lisa in parker, colorado, is on our line for independents. good morning, lisa. caller: hello, good morning. host: lisa, why are you pessimistic about the economy? caller: you know, i'm one of those laidoff workers that got laid off in 2010 in the spring. i worked 18 years in telecom and was laid off. and basically, i'm pessimistic because i've not been able to find a job for probably $10 to
$15 less. i quit looking. another reason i'm pessimistic is the debt. i just think that, like my company, if they weren't going to be making a profit, then they decided to get out of that business. so, to me, how can the government take on a great plan of healthcare, add 30 million more people on healthcare, and get it paid for by maybe the top 2% they're saying? to me, when they're in debt that much, we need to consider taking on the debt, getting that paid down. then as a responsible person myself, in looking at my own budget, i say if i can't go out and buy something, i'm not going to go out and buy it on credit. host: lisa in parker, colorado. in "the wall street journal," beirut blast, u.s. loses a top
ally. the assassination of lebanon's security chief a week ago robbed the u.s. and europe of one of its closest allies in monitoring and countering the regional activities of lebanon's heble, as well as its backers in syria and iran, said u.s. and arab officials. host: theresa in carol stream, illinois, is on our line for democrats, and she is optimistic about the economy. why is that, theresa? caller: well, i am very optimistic. i am very proud and i'm very trusting of our president. and my life story is one of, i had worked for an environmental
consulting firm for close to 40 yearsas laid off in february of 2009. and i was able to just not -- definitely not find another job in the field or anything related or anything even near what i was making, which was close to $25 an hour. i am currently working in house cleaning. i clean senior citizens' homes and i do part-time care giving. and, you know, with that, i earn a fair, fair living, something that is below my means in the past, but i am optimistic about our future. i think we just all need to draw upon what our qualities are, maybe our backgrounds. i've gone full circle. when i was a child, i would go
help my mother when she cleaned office buildings for doctors. host: and theresa, we're going to leave it there. we're running out of time in this segment, but thanks for your call. thanks to all the callers who participated in this segment. later on, actually after this break, we're going to be talking with molly ball from "the atlantic." she'll join to us discuss the difference in ground games for each of the candidates during campaign 2012. and then later in the program, we'll be looking at north carolina for our battleground 2012 series. we'll be talking, among others, with rob christensen of the "news & observer." yesterday, former south carolina senator tom daschle spoke at the funeral of george mcgovern, former democratic senator and 1972 presidential candidate, who passed away at the age of 90. this is what -- this is some of what senator daschle had to say
at the funeral services for george mcgovern. >> i've never known anybody who preached the gospel more effectively in so many ways than george. a peacemaker, a humanitarian, a teacher, a minister, a congressman, a senator, a voice for the voiceless, and a champion for hungry children. in some ways, it's an irony that george's adult life began in war. when asked about his military service, he would always minimize his heroism. but the fact is that if he'd done nothing after reaching the
age of 25 years old, today we'd be celebrating the life of an american hero. 35 minutes in a b-24 -- 35 missions in a b-24, and as was said so well last night, it would have been a lot more had the war gone on. a lot more than one close call. shrapnel penetrating a windshield at one point, nearly killing him. a blown wheel, an emergency landing, and on his 35th and final mission, so much fire and flack, when he landed, they counted the holes in his fuselage and wings, and it numbered 110.
george's life wasn't an easy one. he saw more than his share of hardship and loss. he fought many battles beyond the ones in the airplane. the hits he sustained in world war ii were easier to see, but in truth, he was riddled like that inside much of his life. but it was through his incredible sense of humor, his determination to soldier on and to set the example for others. >> "washington journal" continues. host: molly ball writes for "the atlantic." she's a national political reporter. she's here to talk to us about the ground game in campaign 2012. welcome to the program. guest: thank you for having me. host: in one of your more recent articles, you write obama has edged the ground game that could put him over the
top. first, for the sake of this discussion and to help our folks out there understand a little bit more about what's involved, what exactly is a ground game? guest: this is the component of political campaigning known as field organization. all. things that the campaigns do to connect with voters individually on the ground, through field offices, through phone calls, knocking on doors, trying to drive people out to the polls, so beyond what the candidates do when they're giving speeches on the stump, and beyond the ads that you see on tv and beyond the crafting of the message that the speech writers and the ad writers do, this is the part of the campaign that comes down to connecting with voters and making sure they vote. host: how important is the ground game this year compared with previous elections? guest: i think it tends to be a pretty cannot part of any campaign. it's something democrats tend to emphasize a little bit more more than republicans, although
one of the most impressive field-organized campaigns that we've seen in recent memory was the 2004 george w. bush campaign. karl rove engineered a very impressive, microtargeting effort, where they started to integrate people's consumer preferences with their voting data to try to more precise -- so instead of just saying, ok, we're going to target everyone that we know is, say, a latino woman, you can actually individually start to target people based on what kind of car they drive, or what kind of cereal they eat, or all kinds of little factors that the people know from, you know, when you fill out surveys or when you buy things, that kind of thing. the obama campaign did that even more impressively in 2008, and they've been building on that ever since. so they've built a really formidable sort of digital, integrated data-targeting effort, that they then have put together with this vast network of field offices on the ground
and neighborhood teams and volunteers and through facebook and everything else, so they know practically who all of their voters are, the millions and millions of people that they expect or hope they can drive out to the polls to vote for obama. host: molly ball is a staff writer covering national politics at "the atlantic," they're talk to us about the ground game for both candidates. you can read her work at pick up the phone and give us a call. 202-585-3881 for republicans. 202-585-3880 for democrats. independents, 202-585-3882. you can also reach out to us via social media. twitter, facebook, and email. so, tell us, where is the ground gaming best and for whom? guest: well, what i did, in reporting this story, i went out and visited field offices
in a bunch of different swing states. what i tried to do was pick sort of a random, maybe sort of a swing county, but to go to the same place for both campaigns, and to drop in unannounced and to see what i could see. so, instead of getting some kind of tour, where you tend to get sort of a dog and pony show, just to show up and see what was there. and what you see is not only is there a quantitative difference, because obama has over 800 of these field offices, concentrated in the swing states, you know, the eight or 10 or 12 states that are really crucial in this election. the romney campaign has about 300. so there's april quantitative difference, and there is some political science research showing that just having that field office, being on the ground in a certain community, does increase your share of the vote. but then there's a qualitative difference as well. the obama campaign, it's almost like a starbucks or a mcdonald's, a franchise operation, where every office is very much the same. it's all controlled by
headquarters. they're all working off the same game plan, right down to every single office has what looks like this sort of nice grass-roots touch, a poster on the wall that says i support the president because -- and then everybody's handwritten in their reasons that they love obama underneath. every single office has that same poster. so it's very standardized, very controlled, very disciplined, and they're all working off the same plan. romney actually does not have his own ground game at all. it's the r.n.c., the republican national committee, that is operating the ground game for him. and that's not necessarily a disadvantage, but it means he doesn't have the standardization. he's much more at the mercy of the strength of the r.n.c. and the strength of the state parties, the state republican parties that make up the r.n.c. and it means when did you to these romney field offices, you tend to see and hear a lot more about the local candidates than about mitt romney. so, most of these offices are dominated by literature and signs and campaign staffers for whoever the local congressman is or whoever the local senate
candidate is. if there isn't a local congressman or senate candidate, then there won't be as strong of a candidate. host: our first call from fort worth, texas, on our line for democrats. rebecca, you're on the "washington journal." go ahead. caller: thank you. thank you for taking my call. i'm not surprised that mitt romney has the r.n.c. haggling him. i'm so disappointed that we have gotten to a level where he has been so dishonest what he has said, and he's handled very effectively by the republican party. i think we americans are better than that. i think we deserve a better candidate than that who has been very misleading and has also been very dishonest with the american people. host: what kind of organization have you seen of the romney campaign there? fort worth? caller: well, i see that the republicans handled their
candidate, mitt romney, and i see that they're orkstrite, as far as all of his surrogates that have negative comments and responses by the republican party. host: we're going to leave it there. molly ball of "the atlantic," go ahead. guest: i don't think we should reach too much into the different form these campaigns have taken. part of the reason the republican national committee is handling the ground game for romney is that the republican primary took quite a while to decide. so they were able to build this organization back in march before romney was the nominee and try to catch up with the obama campaign that's been building this organization for six years. i do think the republicans are at a disadvantage because they've had less time, but if they had waited until romney sewed up the nomination around late april, or even until the convention when he officially received the nomination, they would have been at a much more severe disadvantage. these organizations take some time to build. host: next up is george in
ocala, florida. george is on our line for republicans. go ahead, george. caller: good morning, everyone. i think romney is up against the fact that half the american public now, man, woman, is child, is collecting some type of government check. and then there's 10,000 advocacy programs that are also collecting some type of grant. i want to clear up something that was on last week. host: whoa, george, before you go there, so the fact that these people are collecting checks, what does this have to do with the organization of the romney campaign there in ocala, florida? caller: what it has to do, if they are collecting a check, they're going to vote democratic. wouldn't you? if you're getting a check the rest of your life, who are you going to vote for? but i have a couple of other points, if you would allow me to say them. host: well, we're going to move on. we're talking about ground games with molly ball, "the atlantic" national political reporter. you can read her work at
7:57am mark is our next caller, calling on our line for independents. go ahead, mark. caller: hi. i just wanted to say that as far as the ground game with the democrats and republicans, there's not enough coverage given to the alternative parties to actually make it a truly level playing field. the libertarian party doesn't get any coverage, nor does the green party. host: all right. mark in willis, california. does the size of the man power in these various swing states dictate or attract a certain amount of media coverage from what you've been able to see? guest: i don't think so. in fact, i think this is an aspect of the campaign that probably doesn't get covered enough considering how important it is, how much time and money the campaigns spend on it. it's important not to overestimate the significance of a field operation, the sort of political rule of thumb is that you may get two points out of it. you know, over what you would get if there were no field
organization. obama is at a disadvantage when it comes to voter enthusiasm. it's very possible that romney can make up what he lacks in organization just by having the enthusiasm of republicans behind him. but the organization can be a boost, especial until an election as close as the one that we're seeing, where it really, at least in the popular vote, may be a tie. having a boost of a point or two can make a big difference. host: next up, pittsburgh, pennsylvania, on our line for democrats. go ahead. caller: oh, hey, how you doing? thanks for taking my call. i wanted to just say that, with the international union being majority democratic, they would be assisting barack obama in a large way. but my question also to the young lady on the panel is that , i was wondering how this fares with the electoral
college. because a lot of us voters, we don't even know who the electoral college is. we don't know -- we never elected them. we didn't pick them. and yet they decide who's going to be the president. host: talk to us about the union organization and how this primarily goes for democrats. what does the republican party do to sort of match that troop movement? guest: that's actually a really good point. there are also outside groups doing this field organization. on the left, you have the unions, the afl-cio has a massive field-organizing effort. the teachers union, these are all -- they're all supporting obama, and they've all put a lot of resources into organization. and on the other side, you have some republican groups who have seen how the party has sort of fallen behind on this particular metric since the karl rove days and are trying to make up for that. in particular, i believe
americans for prosperity, which is backed by the brothers, has done a lot of ground organizing among republicans. probably not as big an organization or as well resourced as the unions that have been doing this for years and years. so i don't think that -- someone asked me if those outside groups would make up for romney's deficit on the campaign level, and i don't think that's true. i think they're on a par or maybe even more of an advantage for democrats when you count those outside groups. host: the caller also mentioned the electoral college. and because the swing states, florida, ohio, pennsylvania, virginia, nevada, some of these, have more electoral college votes than some of the other smaller states, and the candidates are spending more time in these particular states, do you see a smaller or a larger ground game in states that don't get visited, states like washington, hawaii,
california, new york, texas. those states are already in one column, or their electoral college votes are so small, do you see a bigger ground game effort to make up for the fact that the candidate just isn't going to come there? guest: no, you see almost no ground game in swings that are not swing states. now, there are some swing states that are quite small in terms of electoral votes and physical size, like new hampshire, iowa, nevada. they have only six electoral votes. but in the states that are not swing states, you do not see a ground game. the campaigns don't put ads on the air there. they don't send candidates there, and they don't organize there either. it's just kind of pointless. host: back to the phones. howard in california on our line for republicans. go ahead, howard. caller: well, good morning. thank you. thank you for c-span. host: howard, what kind of ground game organization are you seeing among republicans in california? caller: well, i tell you what, i've gotten my shovel-ready
shovel out, and i'm working the neighborhood, trying to convince people that it would be a good idea to vote. now, living in the people's republic of california, with a continual $16 billion debt, shall i continue, sir? i have a question. host: ok, go ahead. caller: i'm sure you don't disagree with my political plan, do you not? 55 wasted in my eyes he leble early to college, and for the gentleman that was confused about how the electoral college works, and i might quote him, he said, i've never heard of these people. well, this gentleman is voting. he is an example of uninformed voters. and while i'm at it, just a little bit more of house keeping, we had a caller this morning that was complaining --
host: actually, howard, i want to ask you one more question, and then we're going to let you go. caller: oh, ok. i'm sorry. host: has anybody come knocking at your door? have campaign workers come into your neighborhood to try to convince to you work for or vote for one candidate or another? caller: well, that's an interesting thifpblg the republican party, of course, is in the minority, but we do have down ballots, and we do have some issues that are very important to california voters. host: that's howard in california. talk to us about the ground game in terms of what he mentioned, down ballotting. do larger amounts of troops in various states mean that folks that are running for house seats, senate seats, whatever, are also going to get a little bit of a benefit? guest: well, because the republican effort is integrated, because it is -- it goes from the top of the ballot all the way down, with possibly
even a larger emphasis on the down ballot races, you do see, in every state where there's any kind of competitive race, whether it's a state legislature or congress or the u.s. senate or governor, whatever, you're going to see that organization, it's not going to be quite as well resource and had professional as swing states, where there's an incentive to really ramp it up. on the democratic side, it really falls to whichever the local democratic party is, and the local candidates are sort of on their own. you hear a little bit of complaining about this in democratic circles, that the obama campaign is really sort of selfish in this regard, but most democrats feel like they get enough benefit out of that impressive obama organization, even if it's not directly working for them, that it just drives enough democrats to the polls that it helps them in a coattail effect. host: jack in hamilton, ohio, on our line for independents.
jack, you're on the "washington journal." caller: hi. how are you? host: just fine. your question or comment for molly ball regarding ground games? caller: yes, concerning mitt romney's ground game here in ohio, well, i think across the nation for that fact, i think it's more of like a paramount necessity. i've been amazed how it fluctuates to the center coming straight from the right. now it seems to be like his campaign is more party-centered, but the things that he's projecting in his propositions really don't seem to be republican. given the tenure and character of this president, congressional, at least the house, where those guys are. so i think that if people would view this, they would understand that romney, it's really not representing the republican party as far as his propositions are concerned. host: molly ball, your thoughts
on that? guest: well, again, i'm not entirely sure what this has to do with the organization. we do see this collaboration between romney and the republican party, and it is also the case that whoever becomes the presidential nominee becomes the standard-bearer for his party, becomes the representative of his party. so, in some sense, whatever romney says is the republican position. we have seen him philosophically, seems to go to the middle, in tone, if not positions, most noticeably in the debates. but you don't hear a lot of complaints about this from the far right. you hear mostly a party that's very energized, very enthusiastic, and marching in lockstep, working to get him elected. host: we've got a headline from today's "washington post," with electoral end zone in view, candidates blitz swing states. in terms of people on the ground and getting the attention from the headquarters
and saying, you know, we need the candidate here, we need the candidate there, explain a little bit about how that works and who gets the -- who gets the preference among various troop movements. guest: well, what we're seeing right now is the candidates are in such constant motion, that they're saying yes to everyone basically. you had obama hitting, i believe, eight states in two days, and that's literally all the swing states at once. and romney is doing the same thing. he's hitting two or three states every day, flying around the country. one of the things we didn't touch on is early voting. in a lot of these states, it's already election day. it may even have been election day for a couple of weeks. and so, part of the point of these appearances, is not just to convince people, when people come over or excite them to get their neighbors to vote, but actually to send them directly to the polls. i mean, they'll have vans right outside their appearances, where people can get taken to the polls, vote right then and there, so they make sure --
what they call it is banking those votes. a lot of votes have been recorded. nationally the estimate is at 40% of the entire american electorate will have already voted before november 6. in colorado it's 70%. in some states, it's even higher than that. so, the candidates are driving people out to the polls already. they're not waiting until election day. host: molly ball, national reporter, national political reporter with "the atlantic." she was a national political reporter for politico from 2010 to 2011 and a reporter for the "las vegas review journal," covering major characters, such as senate majority leader harry reid, former senator john en sign, and former governor jim gibbons, as well as the state's competitive primary and general election presidential races in 2008, 2004, and -- in 2008 and 2004. what, if anything from your
sources, have you heard regarding the crash with harry reid yesterday? guest: what we are hearing is that he's fine. he suffered minor rib injuries. he appeared to walk into the hospital on his own power. very scary thing. his motorcade apparently involved in a pileup, a six-car pileup on a very busy stretch of highway in las vegas. i know it very well. i lived there for five years. but it does sound like he's fine. host: back to the phones. bradenton, florida, on our line for democrats. we've got joy. go ahead, joy. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i am a senior citizen, and i live in a retirement community, and so i've done unofficial campaigning for our president. i think things are turning around, and i'm encouraging people, because we have a small computer lab in our main building to do some research on
mitt romney, particularly when he was governor of massachusetts. he has an ad stating how he worked with the democratic congress. when we look up the facts, you find out that he issued 800 vetoes and over 700 of those were overturned by his democratic congress. and you also find, when he left office, he was below 40% approval rating. host: joy, tell me what you do as an organizer in your retirement community there, and how did you get involved? how were you recruited to do the work that you do? caller: well, i'm an independent first. and i don't mean independent as registered, because i'm a registered democrat, but throughout my lifetime, my first election was president kennedy. and i was living in iowa at the time. and because i'm catholic, i sat at the campaign headquarters and tried to explain to people
that we were not at the request of the pope because we had literature thrown on our porch from some of the other churches . and i continued, i campaigned for george mcgovern. in fact, at that time, jon voight was a democrat. i danced with him, and i was in my native state of wisconsin up in milwaukee. so i've been a regular supporter of the democratic candidates. host: molly ball, how many of the folks that you've seen in various ground operations are long-time supporters and people who have experience, like our friend in florida, versus people who are out there for the first time getting involved in campaign politics? guest: it's a mix. i think one really good point that can be made from that call is that when someone is in their own community, talking to people they know, that is so much more effective in terms of persuading people and convincing them to vote than anything that you get in the mail or see on television.
people tune out a lot of this stuff. the robocalls, there's actually research showing that when a paid staffer calls you on the phone, that you don't know, and when a volunteer calls out phone, even when you don't know whether that person is paid or not, there's a difference in how persuasive that call is. when it's a volunteer who just wants to be there, the call is more persuasive. it's much more persuasive than that when it's someone you personally know. so there's a big emphasis, in all of this organizing, in trying to get people out, talking to their neighbors, because that contact is so much more effective politically. host: liz smith sends us this tweet -- guest: she's right. it's not a swing state. there's about a zero percent chance that tennessee won't go for romney.
so there's no resources being put into the state by the national campaigns. it is a very different experience being a voter in one of these swing states versus being a voter in a solid red or blue state. if you're a new yorker, you don't experience the campaign in the way someone in columbus, ohio, does. and it's funny when states come on to the map, having not been there for a long time. you know, i live in virginia, which was not a swing state for years and years and years, voted republican since 1964. sudden until 2008, it became a swing state t. went for obama. and now you can't turn on the television without seeing 100 political ads. it has hope. it could change. host: there you go. also in virginia, sterling, virginia, is karen on our line for independents. go ahead, karen. caller: how you doing? good morning. in early july, i probably was an undecided voter until a young lady from the loudon democrats came by and knocked on my door. she and i got to talking, and
she asked me to do a few things. she said, i want you to check your 401-k statement from, you know, 2008. she asked me to look at my pay stub and my housing values, because i never really looked at it to see if i really was better off. i was just listening to all of these political ads. i went back, and did i all that, and i realized, you know, that all three of them were slightly better. it wasn't where it was, but it was slightly better so. it gave me a chance to really look at this whole thing about whether or not i was better or worse. and since then, i've really taken time to look at all of the real information, and now i'm actually supporting barack obama. i'm going out today between 1:00 and 3:00 to do some ground work for them, because i believe that it is going in the right direction. i just really believe that anybody who is republican who can really look at and be optimistic about the economy cannot attribute that to barack obama's policy. i just think that they're being naive and just getting caught
up in all of the rhetoric, and it's unfortunate, because i think we're going to lose out in what could be a really great promise and a great future for america if we continue to stick with obama. host: who did you vote for in 2008? caller: i voted for -- it's crazy, because i really supported hillary clinton, and then i went ahead and i voted for barack obama, but reluctantly. but then in the last couple of years, i really was kind of nervous about obama, and i just was like, ok, i wasn't really feeling him, and then i said, ok, karen, calm down, look at what's going on. and then i saw that, you know what, there has been change, and there has been promise. i can't ignore that and act like it came out of the blue sky. so i have to put my support behind this man and give him at least another four years to see where this is going, regardless of whether or not congress has his back or >> that is the kind of story of a warm and organizers heart.
no matter what you think of the candidates, in is when that human interaction happens and people have a real conversation with voters and get them thinking answer was not even necessarily going to vote for obama and because of this contact with the campaign -- i think that is what policy should be about, people talking to each other and thinking about the issues in the way they relate to their own lives. at its best, this is not a mechanical process of computers spitting out data and manipulating people. it can be manipulative but i think it is very human on like television ads. there is a human interaction that goes on. voters are individuals and they all have different priorities and different ideas and different desires. when you can connect with them and understand where they are coming from, that is very powerful. host: next up, tanya from
spokane, washington. caller: thank you for taking my call. i would like to correct ms. ball. there is a serious ground game in washington state. we are in blue states but we are going over to idaho . i wanted to make note of that from four years ago, my situation is definitely better. i want to let everybody know to put your vote where your mouth is. host: all right, we've got a couple of tweets - guest: if you are seeing a certain message, it is probably because it has been tested and
it works. as much as people hate the negativity and the ads, they work on some level and whether it is to discourage people by getting people sauternes off or by actually persuading them are getting them angry and persuading them to vote against someone, we have seen plenty of negativity from both sides and i think people are fired up by anchor. as much as we would like to think the enthusiasm is all positive, i think on both sides, they are just angry at the other side. host: guest: that's really not fair. there are well meaning and enthusiastic people on both sides of this equation who believe in their candidate and are working their hearts out to get that person elected.
there is a lot of grassroots enthusiasm on the republican and democrat side. they are making the phone calls and quitting their jobs in some cases to be full-time volunteers to work for their candidate and that is an impressive degree of passion you don't see too often in politics. we should celebrate that. host: robyn, in fort lauderdale, fla., our line for republicans. caller: i am 60 years old and i have never -- i have always been an independent until recently. i decided to get involved. since september, i have been involved. i learned through the ted cruz
campaign have to go door-to- door. i have been a member of the tea party which is very big and you have not mentioned them this morning. i have been going door to door, leaving absentee ballot request. i have been making phone calls since september for americans for prosperity. there are a lot of other entities out there that are working hard. host: go ahead. any response? guest: this is in the context of organizations i have mentioned about the tea party is even more of a pure grassroots force at least the way it began. various organizations have come in to make it more organized.
i believe the caller was from texas and a state like that, national campaigns are not doing a whole lot. you are going to see more of the grass-roots energy if people take it upon themselves to do this kind of work. host: in florida, the campaign field office, the obama field offices are about 106 in florida compared to mitt romney's 100 -- compared to 47. pensacola, fla., on our line for independents. caller: good morning, host: talk to us about ground games in florida. caller: one of the things i have
noticed that in 2008, you saw a lot of mccain bumper stickers. you don't hardly see any romney or barack obama bumper stickers. this is in the northwest florida area. me and my wife or independents and we want to find out more information about each candidate's. my wife pointed out that met run the -- mitt romney spent a lot of money on his own campaign. we look at how much barack obama is spending on his campaign. it is disturbing for individual spending this much money to become president. they will not make that much money as president. mitt romney is a businessman and
i think he wants to get a return on the money he spends. guest: mitt romney did spend a lot of his money on his own campaign in 2008 but that is not the case this year. it has all the money from contributors. the same is true for obama. in that regard, the caller's concern may be misplaced. i was in central florida this past week and i saw plenty of yard signs for romney. it is important not to generalize based on that kind of anecdotal and meaningless observation. one of the other things that political field operatives will tell us is that yard signs don't vote. political scientists have tried to study this. candidates love to see their signs and they yell at their
staff when they do not see their sides but the signs don't get them anything. host: the other day there was a story about a woman who had a yard sign and it was set on fire. do you see an intensity as we get closer to the election, among the troops on the ground? it is not to say that these guys did this or it wasn't some knuckle had out there causing mischief. as we get closer to the election, do you see that the fervency of the ground game gets more intense? guest: sure, i think you will always see this as the election draws near that people are getting very, very fired up and passionate and a lot of intensity is focused on this campaign. in 2008, think of the rhetoric that was flying around and people were very concerned that sarah palin was whipping people into a frenzy that was becoming dangerous and whether that was
merely a partisan idea or whether that was true, the candidates often have to be careful that they don't get people sold whipped up that they actually go over the line. host: next up is daniel calling from franklin, new york, on our line for democrats. caller: good morning, it is always a pleasure to get through. in terms of the ground game, it is more of the democrats who have been a week in hitting some point. were doing the best you can but i will give you an example -- mitt romney not paying his taxes is not the issue. he has his money in bermuda and the cayman island so of course he is not paying his taxes. that is not the issue.
the issue is stock options. mitt romney made huge sums of money host: we're talking about the ground game, can you talk about that? caller: got to get the message out. the woman in virginia said she is better off today. you cut me off -- host: back to the phones, n.c., go ahead. caller: my name is johnny, good morning. i want to talk about the ground game. in north carolina, we are not a swing state anymore. up until four or five days ago, we got five or six calls per day from both parties and it has dropped back. you're lucky to get one a day.
i am thinking mitt romney but the main reason i called that earlier a guy called in about the government payroll. that gives obama automatically more people on the ground. host: we are running out of time. talk to us about the situation in north carolina and where it seems to be leaning and if it's true that one side or another has picked up stakes and moved on to somewhere else. guest: there has been disputed about this recently. obama has not been to north carolina since the convention. mitt romney has a bigger lead their than he does in any other potential swing state.
the obama campaign continues to insist they're not pulling out of north carolina. they sent the vice president and first lady there but it is clear they are not putting as much resources there as they are into other swing states. they can afford to keep the staff there for the most part and not actually pull up stakes. i think quietly you hear from democrats that they are probably not going to win north carolina. host: have been talking with mali ball, did you like to read some of her articles, you can find an online at the thank you for being on the program. next up, we will be looking at north carolina and our battleground 2012 series with cheap political reporter rob chisrtensen.
you are watching "washington journal" date is saturday, october 27 and we will be right back. >> here is a look at some books being published this week -- the journey of felix sparse, the commander of the 157 infantry management is highlighted. the media capitalizes on viewers to garner an audience is the premise behind "race-baker." the transformation of the marine corps from world war two to vietnam is chronicled in
"underdog's." editor at large for time magazine describes abraham lincoln's decisions and the second year of the civil war in "rise to greatness." in "tombstone," it is explained what led to the famine of the 1960's. the creator of fractal geometry is examined. in "south africa," the culture of africa is discussed. watch for the authors in the near future on book-tv and book- >> the early going for the
americans were for the british and was not propitious. the dutch as well. during the first days of the pacific or after december 7, the japanese would occupy singapore and they would occupy the philippines which was an american possession. they were receiving about 40% of their oil. they needed the oil to continue the war. they occupied these areas. by the same token, the americans in the philippines or not only defeated by the japanese but in many ways humiliated. the bataan death march, 70,000 prisoners, 11,000 of which were americans. 7000 would die in this 70-mile march. the way they were treated was nothing less than brutal. this was war atrocities, this was the real thing. the japanese be headed many
people and tossed them into the path of oncoming tanks. many of those american soldiers and filipinos who were joining them died of starvation. this was a war in its worst form. the americans will not forget that. i would make the point that the war in the pacific was, in many ways, a racial war. the japanese ministry of the americans and the americans in turn return to the favre. >> this weekend, world war two, tonight at 8:00 and midnight eastern on cspan 3. >> "washington journal" continues. >> for the next several days on "washington journal" will be highlighting said several key battleground states.
today we put north carolina and the spotlight. to help us talk about what is going on in north carolina, we've got rob christensen with "the news and observer." welcome to the program. guest: good morning. host: tell us about what makes north carolina in battleground state. guest: traditionally, it has been a red states and voted for a republican between jimmy carter and barack obama but it has been moving more and more into a more competitive state. there are several reasons why. it is becoming more of a moderate state. the gallup organization asks every year voters in each state where they stand in terms of
conservative or liberal and north carolina is the 22nd most conservative state which puts it after florida. it is a pretty divided state and sends conservatives to washington and raleigh like jesse helms but it also has political progressives. it has been pretty much a moderate state traditionally. it has had a tremendous influx of people from other parts of the country and that has had a moderating influence, particularly big metropolitan areas. that has been changing the politics over the years. in addition, it has a significant african-american population. 22% of the electorate is african-american which is the largest in a battleground state. the group has been supportive
of president obama. all those factors have put north carolina into play it. >. host: recently rode an article -- for those who have spent time in some of these days, give us the comparison between north carolina and wisconsin. guest: people like to group states geographically. the like to compare north and south carolina but actually, ideologically, north carolina matches wisconsin which is counter intuitive. that is where north carolina is aligned closest when you look at how the gallup organization rated north carolina. that was the connection. the
boats and conservatives to washington and liberals and have a conservative tradition. -- they both send conservatives to washington and liberals and have a conservative tradition. they have paul ryan and conservatives from wisconsin sent to washington but north carolina has had both conservatives like jesse helms and liberals like terry sanford. those states are very divided. both states are capable of sending boat progressives and conservatives to represent them. both have a conservative and the progressive tradition. host: another paper in north carolina, "the times news" a burlington has this front-page article --
talk to was about the economy over the last four years in north carolina and what effect it will have in terms of getting out the vote and who people both for when they go to the polls. guest: many people presume that the state would go for mitt romney in 2012. obama carried the state to many people's surprise in 2008. it was a margin of 14,000 votes. it has been a difficult four years for the country but north carolina in particular the state's unemployment is 9.6% which is one of the highest in the country. that is also true for south carolina. the main reason is that this is a heavy manufacturing economy. the state has really taken it on the chin.
traditional industries like textiles and furniture and many of those industries were in decline anyway. they were losing their base overseas. the recession was just a killer. those jobs are gone for good it particularly hurt many of the small towns and rural areas of north carolina. manufacturing states have been particularly hard hit by the recession. even some of the newer industries in north carolina such as banking has been really hurt by the problems in the banking industry. some of the newer industries have been hurt so that is why people thought the state would go republican in 2012 because this has been a tough four years at north carolina.
north carolina has been slow to make an economic recovery. host: talk to us about the campaign in terms of what activity you see from various operations across the state and how things might be different in the western part of the state like in asheville and how they differ from the concerns of the voters in charlotte or the concerns of the voters in areas like wilmington along the coast. guest: the state is quite different the western part this sort of the republican heartland of the state. it has always been the most republican area and is the heaviest textile areas so it has been the hardest hit. the state's progressive areas have been the research triangle areas and eastern north carolina
is conservative but traditionally democrats. republicans have been making tremendous inroads in recent years. it is also the most rural area as well the republicans have tended to campaign most heavily in the western part of the state. for example, mr. romney has made several appearances in the western part of the state but has not made any appearances in the eastern part of the state. president obama has made quite a few appearances in the eastern part of the state but not recently. that is also true of michelle obama and vice president joe biden. they tend to campaign more in the eastern part of the state in the research triangle where their political strength has been. host: it has been mentioned the
president has not been in north carolina since the convention. are people taking notice of that? guest: oh, yes, except for the convention, the president has not campaigned in north carolina since april. we have not really seen the principles here very much at all. governor romney was here a few weeks back and made an appearance in asheville but that was mainly to have a visit with billy graham which was important. it was an important message to send to religious conservatives that it was ok for them to vote for a mormon. aside from that, governor romney has not been there. most of the principles have not been here. vice president joe biden has been here several times. this has been a battleground
state but it has not been a top tier battleground state. clearly, we have not seen the major candidates here but we have seen a lot of campaigning. we have seen something like $80 million spent here in campaign ads. we have seen as much advertising here as most of the major battleground states. not as much as ohio but almost as much as any other state. you cannot turn your television without seeing a political ad since probably may. we have a tremendous ground operation here. the obama campaign has something like 54 offices here and the republicans have something like 22 offices here. we have a tremendous amount of
energy going into the ground operation. there is a tremendous amount of surrogates coming in almost every day like governors and celebrities and other people. there is a tremendous intensity of campaigning here just not the principles. host: you mentioned governor romney and his meeting with billy graham. talk to was more about that. does dr. graham, maybe his family members and sun, are they taking an active role in the romney campaign? are they just giving their blessing to say that for
evangelicals and people of faith in north carolina that it is ok to go ahead and support a mormon? guest: it is very close to an endorsement. you might as well call it an endorsement. he did not say to vote for him but it was close to it. i don't think you can underestimate the importance of billy graham giving his blessing to a candidate because he is a widely respected figure in north carolina. north carolina is part of the bible belt so i would say that billy graham is probably the most beloved figure in the state. i don't think that's an exaggeration. there are some people that say really drivinge the train here. franklin graham has been much more involved in conservative
politics then billy graham. billy graham has been involved in politics over the years and was close to president richard nixon and i think he backed out of politics a little bit because he felt he got burned after watergate. he was disappointed with richard nixon. he was disappointed with some of the language and so forth and back away but he was pretty close to george w. bush. president bush felt that billy graham made a tremendous difference in his life in a personal way in terms of his faith in helping rescue his life. i think he was pretty close to president george w. bush, as well. is not spoken a lot in terms of campaign literature but i think
there has been some issues out there among evangelicals and some skepticism about governor romney's mormon faith and i think billy graham's blessing is an important signal that it is ok to vote for a mormon. there have been full page ads and so forth. i think that is a very important thing in terms of the romney folks for billy graham to give that signal. host:rob christensen is with us. he is talking to us from raleigh and you can read more of his writings at news we want to get more input and conversation going with some of our viewers and listeners. in order to do that, pick up the phone or send us a message --
we have a special line for folks calling from north carolina -- you can also send us e-mails -- we are on facebook -- and you can also reach out to us through twitter -- you were telling me before we get on the air about what you have been doing or the last couple of days. review for us the last 24 hours of where you have been and what you have seen and what you expect to see in the next 24 hours. guest: there is a tremendous
get-out-the-vote effort here in the state. there is a lot of surrogates coming in right now to try to encourage people to vote. yesterday, for example, we had the rev. jesse jackson come in to try to encourage young people, particularly young people on historically black campuses, to vote. he was at north carolina central university which is and has starkly black school in durham and he was at the university of chapel hill and in another one in greensboro. he was a student body president there and a college quarterback. he got his start as a civil rights leader there. he was talking to students and reminding them of the
sacrifices that their parents and grandparents made when the civil rights movements happened. in durham, he led a march of students to register to vote. they have sunday registration here in north carolina and early registration period there is a two-week period where you can actually vote. there is a two-week window where you can vote. later in the day, we had alicia keys, the singer and songwriter, who had about 1000 people in raleigh at a park edit for atomic late african- american neighborhood and was urging people to vote. in a suburb of raleigh, smithfield, in a tobacco
warehouse which is a schumann this warehouse, we had about 5000 people show up to here pat mccrory, the republican for governor and chris christie. this is his third trip to the state. he has campaigned so often, he says he is thinking of moving here. he has campaigned for the republican ticket. host: i'm sure they would miss the governor dearly if he were to leave new jersey and moved to north carolina. let's go to the phones -- our first caller is calling from asheville, n.c., on our line for independences. caller: rob, i'm surprised you did not mention that asheville is a very liberal city and textiles is not our primary industry. i live across the road from
billy graham's compound. you did not bring up the fact that he removed mitt romney and mormon is and as a call from his list and has been controversial here. -- as a cult. for the last two years, republicans have been in control of north carolina, unfortunately. they get into abortion and voter i.d. which was defeated. going back to asheville, we are a liberal city. i have already voted for obama and i voted for him in 2008 and i think he is the answer for this country, not mid romney. host: talk to us. guest: western north carolina is a fairly conservative area. asheville is a liberal pocket
within western north carolina. it is true that the website for the graham association had listed more medicine as a cult until recently, until they had kind words for mitt romney and they took that off their website. make about what you will. host: our next call comes from edwin in new bern, n.c., on our line for republicans. caller: i am glad to see you on the air but my thing is -- in this election has been more nuclear polarized and i voted for barack obama the first time but he will not get my vote the second time. he does not have a plan for this country.
if we continue to go in the direction we are going, things will not be corrected. rather than attacking the person, he waits until almost the last 10 days to insult our intelligence to have a booklet of all of his plants which are just a rehash plans of the last four years. i was proud to go to the voting booth early. we had a -- even today, we still have a large turnout of early voters in newburn and i am glad to see a lot of people i have spoken to who were in my shoes last time that voted for barack obama and have changed their mind. host: robb christensen, go ahead. guest: he is giving his opinion
but we have had a tremendous turnout of early voting in north carolina. in 2008, 51% of the electorate voted before election day. essentially, obama won the election before election day. john mccain won the election day vote but obama had already won the election in the early voting period. we have already had 1 million people voted north carolina. -- voters in north carolina. at this point, the democrats are doing better on the early voting, it appears. we don't have a vote count so we don't know exactly what the tally is. if you look at things -- we know
things like number of active americans who have voted and that is up from the percentage who voted in 2008. percentage is greater this time at this juncture that was in 2008. the number of younger voters who tend to be more for obama than for running a, a greater percentage is up this time compared to 2008. those are all good signs for the obama campaign. but, what that will mean at the end, we don't know but the obama campaign had a good signal from that. host: we have a chart from an article in the "atlantic." it talks about absentee ballot request in north carolina.
host: the democrats made a gain of about 9000. in your observations, do you see
more democrats look again for absentee ballots in 2012 over 2008? might this make a difference for the obama campaign? guest: i think the key is in the early voting. at this point, the democrats seem to be having an edge in the early voting. you can look at the demographic numbers. there are some reasons why that might be the case. the obama campaign never actually shut down their operation from the 2008 campaign. they have a much larger staff and a much larger organization and did they have essentially been staffed up and going full steam for the last year. the republicans in 2008, they
were caught unaware because they did not how to put north carolina in play. they thought it was a republican state. they vowed that the event -- would have a much better get out the vote organization and they do. even so, they are still playing catch-up because they had to go through the whole primary season to pick a. they were late -- a. nominee. it was only this spring where they put together their organization in north carolina so they were already seven or
eight months behind the democrats when they started organizing here in north carolina. i think the democrats have a strong organizational edge. i don't know what that means but it could mean a couple of things -- i think the conventional wisdom is that the state least slightly toward mid run it. -- miche romney. that is possibly right. we have had three polls this week, three separate polls, that have shown the state is still very close. that has to be considered a tossup. host: our next call is from
durham, n.c., on our independent line. good caller: morning, gentlemen. i think our state remains fairly close. i think it will be a lot about voter turnout. my question is about the impact health care will have a north carolina. i work in a hospital and i have seen sweeping improvements to and quality of care related to health reform. i feel it is not addressed in a lot of the riding that is coming out. what do you guest: well, you know i was at a rally last night and republican candidate got up
there and said if he's elected he will do everything he can to repeal obama care. so it's still a very popular issue for republicans. and the polling in north carolina still suggests that the president -- that obama care is still not very popular in north carolina although you start taking pieces of that like preexisting conditions and that sort of thing, it becomes various parts of it are more popular with the public. it's been a tough sell in north carolina. i think it's one of the reasons for example in 2010 that the state legislature went republican. it's one of the reasons that democratic congressmen lost his congressional seat here in north carolina. so it's been a tough issue for
democrats. i don't think there's any question about that and a good issue for republicans. host: rob christensen talking to us from north carolina. you can read some of his writings at news host: what are you going to be watching for on election night in north carolina? guest: the national presidential race is why people are looking at north carolina. but in the state we have -- it's been a battleground -- we have several battlegrounds going on. we have a governor's race going on. north carolina has had 20 years of democratic governors. it's the longest run of democratic governors east of the mississippi river. that could come to an end. the current encome bent
govenorp -- governor decided to not seek reelection and the democratic nominee is in the polls is in deep trouble and it looks like that former charlotte mayor who lost in 2008 is has maintained a double digit lead the entire year and looks to be in good shape to be the first republican governor since jim martin was elected in 1980. so it is shaping up as a very good republican year in the state. host: you've also got quite a contest going on in north carolina's 11th district. tell us about that. guest: we had -- let me jump back a little bit. in 2010 we had the first republican legislature since
1800's. and it came just as redistricting happened. it meant that you had new lines drawn for congressional districts. and so the -- with these new lines right now we have an 8/7 breakdown, 8 democrats, 7 republicans, i think that's right. no it's 7/6. but the republicans think they can pick up four seats because of the new district lines. if so that would be the biggest pick up of any state in the country. it seems there are certain to pick up two seats based on unfavorable new districts. democratic congressmen decided
not to seek reelection brad miller in the 13th and in the 11th. and larry kissell in the 8th district in charlotte area and that goes down to the south carolina border is in a really tough reelection fight. and then really the race that really is getting all the attention and that is really the cliff hanger here is in the seventh district where conservative democrat mike mcintire is facing a difficult fithe against david rouser who is a state senator. and that's one of the most expensive congressional races in the country. and a lot of national money is flowing into that. that is in the southeast part of the state from raleigh down to the southeastern part of the
state. mcintire is trying to hold on in a district that is much more republican. and that's the district that everyone is looking for. but we could see a district -- we could see the state's delegation go from 7-6 democratic majority to a 10-3 republican majority over night. host: rob christensen, we're going to go back to the phones. go ahead. caller: how you doing? my question is how can you guess that mitt romney is winning in north carolina when mitt romney his [inaudible]
$71,000 but he wants people in north carolina to work for $21,000 dollar and if you combine the two it's still not as much as his horse makes? host: any feelings about the governor and the businesses that bain was involved in in north carolina? guest: well, one of the reasons i think -- there is a streak of pop lism in north carolina and one of the reasons that romney has had difficult time putting the state away is that there was a heavy barrage of tv tissing over the summer tying -- tiesing over the summer por
traying him as an unfeeling man and outsourcing and this is a state where a lot of businesses closed and went overseas. that hurt governor romney in the state. and the state had a whole lot of plant closings and i think that's why the state has remained competitive. and there have been a number of companies here in north carolina that had some connection to bain capital and the democrats have taken some of those employees who worked for those companies who had some connection to bain capital and have taken them on tours around the state. so those kind of issues the democrats have tried to exploit. so those kind of issues have played out in north carolina. host: next up is ken on our line for republicans calling from pennsylvania this morning. go ahead. caller: just an observation. i noticed from your earlier
show today and this gentleman here it seems president obama has few offices in the swing states yet romney is ahead in florida and north carolina and virginia and in ohio. and i'm wondering is it a reflection of these men's lives. because i see romney as an organized business man who knows how to put things together which and i see our president as every time there is a situation he has a plan, he has a plan which doesn't seem to come to fruition and he's flying by the seat of his pants. so i'm wondering with all these field offices how could he possibly be blind? guest: well, i think it has to do with the type of politics that democrats run and
republicans run. so here in north carolina, for example, a lot of the politics -- this is a state that has the highest for example frin population of any of the -- african-american population of any of the battleground states. so a lot of the neighborhood is door to door knocking old fashioned type organizing and that's boots on the ground type campaigning as opposed to rob bo call type campaigning. so that's is very labor intensive. that's office store pront office intensive type campaigning and so that would argue for those kind of neighborhood store front offices sorts of facilities. i think that would be the
argument there. host: our next caller comes from florida on our line for independence. caller: good morning. i think this election is going to be very important. both candidates on the issues of human rights. because on the first right being the right to life because all the rights the [indiscernible] that is extremely important. because without that right we're dead. the whole humanity will be dead. so we have to examine that and then cast our vote. thank you very much. host: rob christensen. guest: well, i think the gentleman is talking about abortion, i think the positions
are pretty starkly laid out, the differences between the two candidates. and mothers do have a very clear -- the voters do have a very clear choice than issue. host: without going into the particulars about how big hurricane sandy is or where it's going to hit. what kind of plans are the campaigns making to continue their campaign efforts in north carolina if it hits somewhere in the carolinas? guest: it won't have a huge impact in north carolina because the coastle area is the least populated area of the state and so it won't have a tremendous effect on the most populated areas.
it's going -- it's going to be a rainy day on get out to vote day. so after i leave the shude owe i'm going to go to some get out to vote efforts and there will be some rain so it's going to be wet but i don't think it will have the effect it will have in the mid atlantic states it will have in north carolina. host: we've been talking with rob christensen. he's been talking to us from raleigh north carolina this morning. if you want to read some of his writings you can find them on the web. thank you very much for being on the program. guest: my pleasure. host: you're watching the washington journal today. today is october 27. we're going to take a short
break and we'll be right back. >> just recently actually 164 firefighters were laid off as part of this down sizing and part of getting the finances under control in the city. so firefighters which detroit
needs because it has the highest case of arson in the country, these guys are laid off. about two weeks later 100 guys are rehired which and when you look to find out where that money came from it was the department of homeland security has a fund for things like that. and i don't want to overstate but that's something you want to think about. the department of homeland security needed to step in to keep detroit as safe as it can be for the moment. but so we're talking about and i wonder we see the auto industry bail out, we've seen the bank bailout. are we heading into an era of bailout of cities. is this a failed city? >> this weekend c-span2 book tv in austin texas for live
coverage of the texas book test value. today from 11:00 to 6:00 eastern here from david wess tin. and sunday from noon to 6:00 infiltrating mexico's drug cartels. the texas book festival live this weekend on "book tv" on c-span2. "washington journal" continues. host: we're continuing our look at battleground states with our focus on north carolina. joining us by phone from charlotte north carolina the chairman of the democratic
party. welcome to the program. guest: tell us -- how are you host: tell us what is going on and are the democrats still in play for the obama campaign? guest: definitely in play for democrats up and down the ticket as well as for the president. host: but there's been reports from various outlets say say that it's not in play t president has not been in north carolina stins convention. how do you explain that? guest: basically democrats are turning out to vote. we're turning out to vote at all of the early voting locations and we're voting -- our turnout is higher than the republicans. so we don't pay attention to the polls the same others
might. we pay attention to the polls where early voting is taking place and for us those are the only ones that matter. so we pleeve that our ground game will make up for any deficit that might be seen on any poll anywhere. host: registration by party that we references earlier shows -- guest: this is ath same ground game we applied in 2008 so we're applying it again and
that is to register new voters and one stop early voting which is a great asset for north carolina. so between those two opportunities, we will definitely win this election and we feel confident that the president will not only become president obama again, but will remain in office but we also believe strongly that he will win north carolina. host: we are talking with the chair of the mecklenburg democratic party and it's part of our series on 01 battleground states. you can see on the map the other states we'll be looking at nevada colorado iowa wisconsin ohio pennsylvania vava north carolina and new hampshire. if you want to call here are the numbers.
you can also get in touch with us on twiter, facebook and e-mails. host: tell us what the game plan is in north carolina. are you expecting much residuals from hurricane sandy and what kind of plans do you have in place for the ground game if the hurricane makes grand fall on the carolina coast? guest: we will watch the weather and make sure that all of our voters can make it polls. so we will work around any
issues as it relates to the rain. host: the top issue for the democrats and for the folks in north carolina in 2008 was what? guest: i think jobs and the economy and jobs and the economy are still hot issues for us. and of course, we're not where we want to be but we have experienced 31 straight months of job growth in the private sector so that's something we would like to continue under president obama. host: our first call comes from nancy, she's on our line for republicans. go ahead. caller: i just wanted to make a comment about a few people ago that called romney being a mormon.
well, this country was founded on different relidges relidgens and mormon is a christian religion. so would people rather have a muslim -- host: the spt not a muslim and i think you know that. but let's talk about the subject of religion north carolina being a big state on the bible belt and what's the feeling as far as you've been able to see regarding governor romney and his mormonism in north carolina? guest: first of all, i would just like to say that i agree with nancy to the extent that this country was founded on religious freedom so i do not
think that someone's religion could come into the conversation in a negative manner. and as you stated president obama is a christian and not a muslim so that's something that needs to be made clear. it just happens to be that he's a christian and that's what he is. but that's a conversation that we should not get into the weeds on when that's not supposed the crux of our election when we are a country that was founded on our religious freedom host: our next caller is from william. caller: how are you doing? guest: well. how are you? caller: we should put first things first. now during any presidential election all president component should be reveal their status and everything so
we know something about them. and we have this republican mitt romney that told us about his taxes and we don't know nothing about him but he's going to dig into our taxes if he gets elected. [indiscernible] what obama have done, he have done it on his own. no president has had to run as hard with all the republicans [indiscernible] and we are still moving forward. mitt romney said he can do better but nobody knows anything about mitt romney. show his facts so people know about him how many wealth and everything he's got. host: governor romney's taxes,
is that a big issue there? guest: governor romney released his taxes but what is more of an issue is that we want to be sure that to the callers point that mitt romney does not dig into the taxes of the middle class. amend i think that's definitely more of a concern overall for us and that is the middle class does not have to carry the burden from the upper class. so for people making over $200,000 that their tax structure is in line with what they have. so i think that that's a major concern and that is that we grow the middle class and we grow from the middle class out and therefore create a stronger country. host: ron is calling from charlotte on our line for independence. go ahead. caller: i'm here in charlotte
and we are an agency that distribute stimulus cards. have you heard of the static stimulus cards? guest: i have not. caller: great. i've heard of you but if you could we'd like to you spread it throughout the community. we take individuals who are on cash benefits and we run them through our interactive data base and give cash backs and could you pons and we enhance those individual by 20% each month. so it's not democratic or republican system, it's just a universal tool that we use to enhance people and we would like your support with this
system. and if you'd like -- host: sounds like a sales pitch. let's move to kathleen. caller: thank you this is kathleen and i'm an 81-year-old widow and i have kept up with politics all my life. but this campaign that's gone on between romney and the president is the mostry dick cue louse thing i've ever seen. but i did not vote for romney the first time and i had my reasons and i'm not voting for him this time either. because i don't think he's done what he said he was going to do. i parade for him every night hoping that one day he would do something right. host: you said you didn't vote for romney the first time, you
mean president obama? caller: i meant obama host: you voted for mccain? caller: yes i did. host: what makes you want to vote for romney? caller: i have never been a taker i've been a giver. the people can give what they want without the president. they have a survey about the cell phones and people think they're getting them free but the people who pay taxes are paying their bills and they don't even know that. host: your thoughts on that. guest: i would say that obviously i support the president and i think that the president's stand on the tax structure as well as healthcare
are definitely something that we can stand behind for really the majority of the middle class. host: what about she said that she was a life long democrat and couldn't support the president. how do you work with folks like her who have been members of the democratic parties all their life but can't pull the lever for the president? guest: well, what i hope is that somehow at some point we can reach out to her and persuade her and persuade people like her. i do believe that our ground game here in mecklenburg county our person to person contact is making the difference for the mabblingty of democrats. and i think for the majority we will see they have supported the president yet again when the polls close in november. host: a caller from new york on
our line for democrats. go ahead. caller: i simply have a question as a political operative perhaps you have an explanation. i understand how calling is important internally for politicians but what i don't understand is how does that help the voter? how does the polling, the constant polling changes up and down, wouldn't it be better not to have the polling and let the electorate decide on the day of the election? guest: i would say as far as the polling that i watch, i watch public policy polling, i think they do a good job for us in north carolina. and i would say what i said again, the only poll that is matter are the early voting
locations. so that's where the people should be and will be heard. the rest of those polls can give us an indicator of which way people might be going. and i think that polling is also important if it helps us to understand where the voters are and what their needs and concerns are. but mostly the only polling that does matter is the polling that takes place when people pull the lever. so we feel very confident here and for the rest of our colleagues in the swing states. we know their doing their job and talking to voters about issues that are important. host: our last call comes from florida on our line for democrats. caller: good morning. i'm on my way to vote and i'm voting for obama.
[indiscernible] if i won't vote for them but they're not for me. host: why did you choose to vote today as opposed to waiting to november 6? caller: because i have to work and by the time i get off work the place will be closed so i want to do it early and make sure i could feel good about my decision. host: the chairman of the mecklenburg democratic party, are you seeing this kind of thought going into folks doing their early voting in mecklenburg county? guest: absolutely. we have had record turnout on the first day there were 15,000
voters. we had 22 early voting leekses there is one stop early voting and that is a great opportunity for mecklenburg county and you don't have to wait until election day, you can vote early. as for the storm, if everyone votes this weekend that will help us to work around rain on tuesday. everyone has saturday, sunday and monday before the rain might hit here. so i would encourage everyone to get out and vote right away. and i don't know that i agree with everything that the caller had to say but i will say that i do support the president because i think he supports all americans and i think he supports all the people here and that's the reason i'm supporting president obama. host: we are talking to the
chair of the mecklenburg democratic party. when we come back we'll be talking about the chair of the republican party in mecklenburg . we'll be back in just a few minutes. >> i lie c-span's coverage because it it's all side, it's all views. it's not boring. there are current events. i'm i love what's going on right now and they're talking about issues that matter to americans right now. >> c-span created in 1979 brought to you as a public service by your television
prider. >> as we approach election day c-span is asking students to send a message to the president. we are asking what is the most important issue the president should consider in 2014. c-span student cam competition is open to students grades 6 -12. >> watch watch journal continues. host: over the next several days we are on "washington journal" highlighting key battleground states in campaign 2012. today we're putting the spotlight on north carolina and joining us to talk about what's going on in north carolina from the republican perspective is the chairman of the mecklenburg
republican party. welcome to the program guest: how are you. host: tell us about the status of things from a republican perspective in mecklenburg county rige now. guest: things are going well right now. we're up 50% over where we were in 2008. and just working to turn out the vote now through election day. host: in the we've got an article talking about north carolina john mccain lost any state by a closer margin than he did in north carolina.
how have things changed for republicans and for the republican candidate between 2008 and 2012? guest: i think there is a significant difference in our ground game between 2008 and 2012 f. you remember in 2008 the republicans were looking back to 2004 when we carried the state for bush by the largest margin in the country. at that point folks at the national level didn't realize we could be a swing state or going to obama. that's different this time around. they started ground game here earlier than ever before in history. and we've put more staffers on
the ground and more people making phone calls and that's been a strong part of our effort heading into this election. host: we want to take calls from anybody who is watching the show. the numbers are -- a lot of talk regarding the storm off the coast of the carolinas, sandy, what are the plans for the republican opera tives for the ground game should that storm make land fall in the carolinas either monday or
tuesday? guest: i'm not sure that sandy is going to have an impact on us in north carolina especially in this area. it looks as if it's aiming toward delaware and virginia. here if it does, it will graze the coast which isn't very heavily populated and head up to the northeast. with that said, it looks like it's going to be a rain any day so we're doing our best to turn out as many republicans as possible. host: our first call comes from scott in connecticut on our line for republicans. go ahead. caller: yes, good morning. i've been paying attention to this year's election. i believe it's crucial to our country in so many ways. and i just have a question is
why the obama's record really has not been brought into light with his jobs 25,000 that never took place, the closing of guantanamo bay which never happened and nothing transpired from it? host: your response? guest: that has been a main focus we've been working to get the message out on that there were a lot of promises that were made in 2008 that haven't been delivered on. it's important we change the tone in washington and put somebody in place that can deliver on the jobs we need. host: next up is a caller from north carolina on our line for democrats. caller: i am so thank to feel get y'all because i think
people need to hear this. how can they continue to blame president obama for not keeping all his promises when the republicans all agreed when he first became president to stop him every step of the way? when they agreed to not let him succeed? because he's a black man, they do not want to see a black president succeed. they would rather let the country fall off a cliff than see a black man succeed. guest: i'd strongly disagree with that assertion. when he came in power he had filibuster approved majority in the senate and he chose not to work with republicans at that time moderate republicans who
have worked with democrats throughout the past. he focused on getting the healthcare law pushed through without considering republican options. and i think that poisoned everything for moving forward. so i would strongly disagree with that in terms of he had plenty of chances to deliver on the promises he made and he didn't. and during that period he chose not to work with republicans. host: next up is fill in north carolina on our independent line. caller: i just wanted to say that despite the media blackout gary johnson is going to have a profound impact on this election. he's got my vote because the democrats talk peace and kill 178 children with drone warfare
in pakistan and they say that's not tough enough. and i don't know how many dead children it would take to satisfy mitt romney and the republicans. guest: talk to us about the the effects as you see them of third party candidates on the republican effort in north carolina. guest: right now from what we're seeing it doesn't look like it's having an impact. to the extent they are drawing folks out it's from both parties and doesn't look like it's going to impact the presidential race or other races where libertarians are running. host: we've got a tweet --
guest: i'm not sure what to make of that. we certainly have our issues but the fact is that this is a state that traditionally has gone for republican nominees for president and i believe we're going to return to that in 2012. host: next up is rich on our republican line. caller: thanks for taking my call. last night i was watching the news and they were talking about the cast of electoral votes and they were talking about the possibility that the electoral votes could wide up high and the house would elect romney as the president and the senate would elect biden as the vice president. as we go forward next week and i know the electoral votes may wind up determining the election. could you guys put something together and kind of explain that? i never thought that was a
possibility. and i get my news from you guys because everything else is so twisted i don't care what station your on. and the only other thing i'd like to make a comment on is republicans are not racist, people are racist. when you didn't call that lady out, so please when somebody races a stupepid comment like that you guys need to step in and say knock that off. host: that's rich in virge and we'll talk with our producers about doing a segment so everybody has an understanding about what is going on. back to calls for the chair of the republican party in mecklenburg north carolina. betty is on our line for democrats calling from mississippi. caller: good morning. i want to know yesterday i
watched romney's speech in iowa, his combhick speech and one of the things that caught my attention was he started complaining about obama and his standing on the stimulus. but ironically he was giving his economic speech at a company that had received stimulus funds. evidencely romney need to do his homework. and he complained there are 23 million americans out of work, 23 million americans out of work but when he was at bain capital and caused all those plants to close down and shipped the jobs overseas he's part of that 23 million americans out of work. guest: talk to us about the economic situation in north carolina and what if any stimulus money came through the state and if it's going to have any effect on the election. guest: the job situation in north carolina isn't great.
it's 9.7% unemployment in the state. i believe we're 47th nationally in terms of unemployment ranking. we're known for being a place that's been a strong business climate and place for people to come and build careers and that's not been going on for the last few years. you look at north carolina and it's a democratic governor, it was up to 2010 a democratic legislature for over 100 years and obviously a democratic president and that is something that we need to address and we need to work to make north carolina more business friendly and a place that's going to grow jobs for our future. host: we are talking to the
republican chair of the mecklenburg north carolina. he is talking to us about information about their operations can be found at m ekg >> calling from north carolina go ahead. caller: i would like to say that i think everyone is the whole idea is that the public, the people that vote are the ones that's behind time actually because i voted for obama from the beginning through the candsi and being elected president. people don't know anything because they don't study what is being said and done. i've been keeping up with it all this time.
i just feel like it's wrong for them not to know what is going on. and for the republicans to tell them what to do. host: tell us about some of the efforts going on with the republican party in mecklenburg county as far as getting information out about your candidate and getting registered voters out to the polling places. guest: obviously we've gotten the stadtiesments that are going on on radio and tv and in 2008 we weren't set up for twitter or facebook. we've got 6,000 followers on twitter and 3,000 on facebook. those are things we're using to keep our actist up to date and doing the work we need. obviously right now it's all coming down to knocking on doors and making phone calls.
and we've got two different offices open which usually we have one set up and running 12 hours a day to make sure we've driving out the vote as much as possible. host: we've got a tweet who wants to know -- guest: to be honest i'm not sure. obviously sports authority and stames are doing pretty well but as far as specific north carolina companies i haven't seen anything to that effect. host: we're going to talk to brian in michigan on our line for republicans. caller: thanks. i think you might have to update your chart there. i think michigan may become a battleground state but irregardless, can you hear me? host: yes. caller: i was going to say one thing about benghazi but let
that go. we're in the global economy that the new world order which was brought in by the first george bush signed into law by clinton so this is bipartisan, that is our economy and we wrote the rules as far as a global economy for the world to follow and now others are following it. so when we talk about shipping jobs overseas and things of that nature, that is the game. we can't move the goal post, we wrote the rules. and i'll close on the great city of detroit, when we talk about the bailout and which way it should go or bain capital. people have to realize, they have to understand that most of general mote tors jobs are now presently overseas and the head of general motors who took all the money is now crying that 7.5 million in pay is not
enough. the united auto workers are still at entry level being hired in at over $19 an hour that's their pay but their total compensation with healthcare and bonuses comes out to $55 an hour. host: talk to us about the economic situation particularly in mecklenburg county and in charlotte which is a big banking center. guest: it is primarily a finances center. we've been working to expand our energy base as well. but historically as the been a finances center. we took a strong hit in 2008 when bank of america got hit. but it's still a finances town. host: an in colorado is our
next caller on our line for independence. go ahead. caller: thank you. i used to work for one of the financial firms and interested because north carolina is a large financial center and romney is the businessman to get the economy going but he said that he's going to reverse frank d.o.d. and i think he was -- dodd-frank and he said that he was going to maintain and that was tendering to the independents. the best i can tell he and ryan's policy simulate britain's which is in a full blown recession. so non-can tell what romney is
saying or speaking. i think he says whatever to close the deal on wall street and i think he is saying anything to close the deal to the presidency. host: go ahead. guest: i think mitt romney has been pretty straightforward on where he is going to be focusing his presidency in terms of the five-point plan to get america going again and rebuild and bring 23 million jobs. regarding dodd-frank there were good ideas in there but it needs to be reworked. the whole concept of going in and legitimate miesing the too big to fail bank should concern all americans. so there is definitely some changes that need to be made in that piece of legislation. host: next up is kenneth from north carolina on our line for democrats. caller: good morning. i appreciate you taking my
call. i've already taken advantage of the early voting. i voted for obama and i'd like to say that the president he's done a lot of things the best he could. i hear the people say he made promises however the kind of work that he had based on all the information that you heard the first two years that it was predominantly democratic, he had those two years to work and that was very hostile considering where the country was at in those two years. but this is a president who has proven to be for all people. host: do you want to respond to that? guest: to look at those two years and look at where the priority tiss were placed there are a lot of folks who think he
should have been building jobs those first two years instead of passing the obama care act. with regard to even the stimulus the way he structured that, obviously we have issues with the structure. but if you look at where that money was invested and not going into needed infrastructure projects that he's talking about now. $1 trillion was spent in that and if infrastructure he cease as a problem he could have invested more at that point. if you look across the board it's a matter of priorities and he didn't make a priority of changing the tone in washington or creating jobs at that point when he really could. and that's something that we need to work to move on into the future. host: our last call for chairman of the republican party in mecklenburg north
carolina. caller: i want to say that i'm for romney this year. i gave obama a chance four years, and it's gotten worse. i'm not racist. this hasn't got anything to do with parties or race. it's got something to do with country. host: you voted for the president from 2008 you're not in 2012, what is the difference in then and now? caller: look at the economy. host: you get the last word. guest: she makes a great point in terms of looking at the difference between 2008 and 2012 is that obama did not have a record to run on in 2008. he ran on some strong promises and rhetoric he didn't bliver on those and you look at what he's delivered and i think a
lot of americans and a lot of people are coming to the realizization he's not the man to lead us for the next four years and mitt romney is. host: we have been talking to the chairman of the republican party in mecklenburg as part of our battleground 2012 series. we've been looking at north carolina today. thank you for being on the program. guest: thank you. host: we want to let our viewers and listeners know about what's coming up tomorrow at oh 10:00 a.m. on news makers we'll have senator paul and his support for governor romney and his push for a payer down government and his foreign said to pakistan and libya. that is sen paul from kentucky live on news makers on c-span.
coming up on tomorrow's edition of the "washington journal" we will be talking with michael mcdonald. he is an associate professor and he will be here to talk to us about the status report on how people have cast their votes in virginia and elsewhere and how campaigns have targetting the turnout for early voters and then we will continue a look at battleground states. tomorrow we will be looking at pennsylvania with the director for the center of politics and public affairs. and we'll also be talking with the chairman of the pennsylvania party and the chairman for the democratic chairman of the montgomery county board of commisioners.